Last weekend, I did finally rent the movie A Lot Like Love. Most romantic comedies define their genre with nothing but a really good, if not misleading night of entertainment. This story doesn’t have roots in a moral pattern (in fact it lacks in moral choices), but it tries to convince us that this boy-meets-girl scenario is something we should root for. The real questions is: should we we cheer for this ‘a lot (un)like love’ concept?
Although it doesn’t exactly say it, this romantic-comedy is just another meeting of two attractive people engaging in a friends-with-benefits type relationship.
Over the course of seven years, the free-spirit Emily and the guy-with-a-plan Oliver pass through each others lives. Neither Emily nor Oliver is willing to commit to each other at any point in those many years. Instead they leave unspoken the chemistry between them because it would “ruin” what they have (or don’t have). Oliver is the one to most question his relationship with Emily; he’s smitten from the moment he lays eyes on her, but he walks away or lets Emily’s influence drive him away. Needless to say their meeting is purely attraction (physical). So Oliver’s feelings toward Emily is not love but infatuation (lust).
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More recently there were two movies in theaters that only solidify Hollywood’s opinion on “friends” having a physical relationship with no emotional attachment. They see nothing wrong with it. Obviously in the end things change and everyone discovers this to be impossible. No one can remain emotionally unattached. There is no such thing as a relationship based solely on sexual attraction. All such a relationship demonstrates is the disregard, and disrespect a person has for themselves. Emily uses Oliver for a “purpose.” She’s mad at her ex-boyfriend, sees a random guy in the airport and likes what she sees. Her theory is all about “tests”; how will Oliver react? Because he doesn’t resist, how can she ever trust him? And all this is after she is forced to make the “first move.” There has to be a spark between two people, but that doesn’t constitute a relationship alone.
Really, I wanted to like this a lot more than the fleeting feeling of happiness I was left with. The story allows us some really cute, funny moments between Oliver and Emily. We see them driving to nowhere in particular. Snap photographs of each other while making silly faces. Laugh over a breakfast of pancakes and cheer each other up when the other is feeling blue. Such scenes are rare but they do show friendship which then they sully in another scene. The fact that they assume sleeping together would not eventually affect their uncomplicated acquaintance, relationship, friendship is ridiculous. All it succeeds in doing is making their lives (their association) with each other messy.
“Love” between the two really doesn’t feel legitimate until the end of the story when we see a cute reunion between the pair of lovers. But is the “getting there” worth everything else? Unfortunately this is just another movie that wants to impress upon young America that such relationships are acceptable. That it is okay to jump into bed with someone you don’t know; to cop an attitude, shrug our shoulders and say, who cares because everyone else is doing it, right? Such relationships are so far from the way God indents them to be. Forget just the emotional disservice such shenanigans will do to your mentality it’s, additionally an unhealthy way to live physically. So the lingering question on our mind is: how is this remotely like love?